There are benefits to varying your fitness routine. Stick with the same workout too long and you run the risk of reaching a plateau or losing your motivation. Plus, it’s fun to challenge your body in new ways. If you’re looking for a change, why not try an indoor cycling workout? There’s a reason why indoor cycling workouts are making a comeback. It’s far more than mindlessly pedaling an exercise bike for an hour – it’s a dynamic form of exercise that’s attracting more and more followers. Here are reasons why you should give indoor cycling a try.
Indoor cycling is Low Impact
If you do high-impact workouts, your knees can use a rest once in a while, and if you happen to have knee problems that make it painful to do jump around, an indoor cycling workout is a perfect alternative. No matter what type of exercise you do, adding indoor cycling to the mix offers benefits since you can get a high-intensity workout that’s low-impact. Plus, if you have knee problems, indoor cycling strengthens your quadriceps muscles. This has benefits for people with certain types of knee problems including those with osteoarthritis of the knees.
A recent study showed that people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knees that did indoor cycling workouts experienced less pain and discomfort when walking. If you have “bad knees,” indoor cycling is a way to get a good cardiovascular workout.
You’ll Build Endurance While Burning Lots of Calories
indoor cycling burns significant calories – between 500 and 900 calories per 60-minute session. You can get a workout that burns as many calories as running on a treadmill without impacting your joints. Plus, you can adjust the resistance to mimic cycling or running up a hill. It’s a good alternative if you’re recovering from an injury and need a workout that’s low impact but high-intensity. By doing sprint intervals and intervals with high resistance, you’ll get the benefits of high-impact exercise without the impact. This boosts both aerobic and anaerobic capacity. You’ll develop greater endurance and more resistance to fatigue.
It Tones Your Lower Body and Core
You’re using larger muscle groups when you cycle. This burns major calories while building muscle endurance in the lower body. When you increase the resistance, you also develop greater lower body strength. If you’re looking for toned, shapely gams, regular indoor cycling workouts will get you there. You’ll also get some core-strengthening benefits when you indoor cycle as core muscles are activated as you pedal against resistance. It’s a way to work your core and lower body while building anaerobic and aerobic endurance at the same time.
Time flies during an indoor cycling workout because you’re constantly changing the resistance and the speed. Do a steady-state workout on an exercise bike and time seems to crawl. Indoor cycling workouts are over before you know it and you feel sweaty but exhilarated. Mission accomplished! You don’t need to join an indoor cycling class to get the benefits. Once you have a bike, you can use an indoor cycling DVD, like my Cycle Max or Ride DVDs, for non-stop workout motivation you can use at home. indoor cycling workouts are among the most motivational because there’s an upbeat mood and you’re constantly being challenged.
It’s a Good Plateau Buster
No matter what other types of workouts you do, indoor cycling will challenge your body in an entirely different way. That’s a good thing if you’ve stopped seeing changes with your regular routine. With indoor cycling, it’s less likely you’ll reach a plateau since you work out at intensities that are constantly changing and you can always increase the resistance to make it more challenging.
The Bottom Line?
What’s not to love about indoor cycling? It’s a core and lower body workout, builds endurance and is easy on your joints. If you’re looking for a new challenge, give indoor cycling a whirl – and find out why so many people love it.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Dec;42(12):985-95. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2012.3813. Epub 2012 Aug 2.